Extra security added at 3 Jacksonville high schools after triple shooting
School board discusses security in wake of high school football game shooting
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students at three Jacksonville high schools noticed more security on campus Monday morning when they returned to class.
The additional safety measures were put in place following Friday night's triple shooting after a football game at Raines High School.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Joerod Adams, 19, was killed and two teenagers -- a 17-year-old boy who attends Raines High School and a 16-year-old girl who attends Lee High School -- were injured in the shooting Friday night outside the football stadium, where a rivalry game between the Lee Generals and the Raines Vikings had just ended. Both wounded students are expected to recover.
The Duval County School Board discussed safety protocols at school functions during a closed-door meeting Monday afternoon, in the wake of the shooting.
After the executive meeting, Dr. Diana Greene, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, announced that a dozen high school football games expected to draw big crowds will be moved to either Saturday mornings or 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting this week.
The announcement came just hours after students at three Jacksonville high schools noticed more security on campus Monday morning when they returned to class.
On Monday, extra security was added at Raines and Lee high schools, as well as Ribault High School, near Raines in Northwest Jacksonville.
The increased security was noticeable at Raines, where parents and students weren't allowed to drive past the gated area of the school Monday morning. Students had to be dropped off before they entered campus and Duval County school district police officer could be seen guarding the front gate.
As students entered the front gate, they had to go through security checks, including passing through a metal detector and having their backpacks searched before they could enter the school building.
Several officers with the school district, administrators and staff met earlier in the morning, before directing traffic for parents and students outside Raines High. Some students wiped away tears and hugged teachers.
It was an emotional morning, as students who were dropped off had to pass a memorial that was created at the site of Friday's deadly shooting. Grief counselors were made available at Raines and Lee high schools to help students deal with the tragic incident.
Some students told News4Jax that they are upset, while others said they've become numb to the violence, which has seemingly become the norm.
One student said he didn’t want to come to school Monday, fearing something bad might happen.
“I just thought it was real sad. I do believe they need more security on campus. It seems easy to get weapons on campus," said Jeremy Woodridge, a 10th-grader at Raines. "I’ve seen people who don’t go to Raines on campus.”
James Tarver, a senior who plays on the Raines football team, said the players were told to stay in the locker room when gunfire erupted Friday as thousands were leaving the stadium.
"We were shocked, basically," Tarver said. "After the football game you don’t wanna come out and see this. I think they are doing what they can (for safety).”
The school district said it followed the proper safety procedures during Friday’s game. In fact, there were more than 50 officers on site and a security check at the gates of the stadium.
In an online video, the superintendent said that all protocols were followed and expressed that she's upset that the shooting happened despite all the safety precautions taken.
"This is becoming our new normal -- one that I am not willing to just openly accept. However, as a community we all have to stand up and say this is unacceptable," Greene said. "It is unacceptable that as a community we can't come together to watch a football game without this evening descending into violence."
Some members of the school board said the violence, including a mass shooting Sunday afternoon at the Jacksonville Landing, is a community issue that needs to be addressed.
"This tragedy in terms of lives lost in injuries happened after the game, which is why we keep saying this is a community issue," said Paul Wright, chair of the Duval County School Board. "With the tragedy that happened at the Landing, it’s just reiterated that this is a community issue so now it’s time as a community to come together -- students, parents, principals -- and create a plan where everybody feels like they have an opportunity to participate."
After undergoing security, Raines High students attended an assembly led by the principal, who reminded students of their role in keeping their school safe. School leaders encouraged students to speak up if they see or hear anything suspicious, even on social media.
No arrests have been made in Friday night's shooting, which police believe was gang-related. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
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